Siblings Connections

TCFV – support for individuals bereaved of a child, sibling or grandchild

Some Sibling-specific services…

Canterbury Siblings-specific Support Group (ages 18+).
TCFV groups are open to parents, siblings, and grandparents, but we also have a sibling-specific support group.
Held the third Tuesday of the month at 7.45pm. TCFV Centre, 229 Canterbury Road, Canterbury. More information on support groups, including establishing a membership to access services, please click HERE.

1:1 Sibling Support. If you’re interested in a peer support session via Zoom or onsite at our Canterbury Centre, please email John.

Want to share your sibling’s stories? Do so here.

Post your images on our Instagram TCFV Siblings Instagram Page.

We also run a number of in-person social groups for informal catchups. Check out our events to see what’s coming soon.

Connect with others who under using the ‘Siblings Connections’ Facebook Private Page.

Life Changed Forever

One of the greatest losses is that of a sibling. Life is turned upside down and is never the same once a sibling passes away. Ultimately, our siblings know us like no one else. They know a private version of us, a more intimate self; they influence our growth, development, upbringing and emergence of self and personality.

The relationship between siblings is unique. This uniqueness extends into how one grieves when their sibling dies, with the knowledge that everyone’s grief journey is distinct. The ripple effect of the loss on surviving siblings’ lives can have a broad impact on their quality of life depending on what their relationship with their sibling was like and how they respond to grief.

While working through their loss, surviving siblings face challenging, complex and emotional battles on many fronts, many of which go unnoticed by those around them. That is, we predominately live in a society which finds grief uncomfortable and fails to recognise the loss of a sibling as significant, which it certainly is.  Consequently, the vital need for support through the grief process is neglected at a high cost to the bereaved.

A sibling may be the keeper of one’s identity, the only person with the keys to ones unfettered, more fundamental self.

Healing from the loss of a sibling is a lifetime journey; how you think, feel, behave and cope can be just as unpredictable as the grief emotions you experience. Responses to grief can shift depending on your mood, energy levels, people you are surrounded by and whether you can confide in them.

Characteristics of the Sibling Bond

The relationships we develop with our siblings are debatably some of the longest relationships we’ll have in our lives. We usually know them longer than our parents, spouses and children. We witness more memories, life events, milestones and life changes with our siblings than anyone else.

As well as sharing genetics, family stories that are centered around experience with our siblings build a sense of belonging and culture that is inherent to our identity. Depending on the connection we have with our parents, a sibling can offer a “caretaker” role, teaching us how to function in society and someone we look to for guidance throughout childhood and beyond. This can involve modelling their behaviour and learning how to communicate with others and relate to our peers.

As siblings are constants in our lives and undoubtedly shape our character, once no longer here, feelings of insecurity and anxiousness can surface, and we may question who we are as a person and our sense of self without them.

Supporting Young Surviving Siblings

Difficult situations that arise can equally challenge your reactions and conjure feelings of isolation. For example, exchanges with others that raise the questions of do you have any siblings?

We are here to support you

Speaking to another bereaved sibling is an experience that changes you. It is a relief when there are others who can fully relate through the same lived experience and know what it’s like to continue with an ever-present sibling void. It opens a part of you and allows you to talk about your sibling freely.

Our siblings know us like no one else, the bond created is difficult to explain and understand unless experienced personally. You may be pleasantly surprised how alike your experiences and feelings are and how much better you feel after talking about exactly what is on your mind and in your heart.

There is immeasurable power in being recognised and acknowledged in your grief.

To be present and share vulnerable moments with us allowing us the space to feel all that it is we for the most part try and avoid, push down & distract ourselves from. To give a griever the opportunity to be heard, listened to and understood is a gift.